Our Computing curriculum includes a focus on Internet Safety Awareness. This term, we’ve included specific activities in the lead up to Safer Internet Day, to encourage the children to think before sharing any content on the internet.
The children have analysed life real-life situations to learn how others can steal personal information. Cyber-bullying, privacy concerns and online messaging were also discussed as part of this topic. All of the children in Years 1-6 completed an activity sheet where they thought about the positives of the Internet and how the Internet can shape who they are. Children learnt how to set up a safe password and why is your IP address important. They also linked Internet Safety with creative activities. For example, Year 5 created posters with some ‘top tips’ for online messaging.
We’ve also been helping parents, including information about different social media platforms and how they are used in a weekly spotlight in the Banstead Bulletin. Year 5 and 6 parents benefited from a visit by students from Dunottar School, who came to talk to parents about the way they use social media, outlining the benefits and pitfalls for children and teenage users. What struck those who attended was the mature attitude the students had towards sensible use of social media apps. Most had started using social media apps towards the end of Year 6 or in Year 7. All said that their parents ‘policed’ their accounts, maybe logging in as their child on Instagram or checking their phone regularly to see the content of messages. Some, now in Year 10, had less supervision as their parents now trusted their online behaviour. They were brave enough to share personal stories and experiences of how social media can facilitate both online and real-life bullying and unkind behaviour. They reminded us of the benefits of social media too – enabling children to communicate with their friends, express themselves and keep updated with the wider world, but recommended parents set rules such as no social media or online games until homework is complete and no phones in bedrooms after a set time.
Years 3-6 had a special assembly for Safer Internet Day on 11 February, led by Miss Grace, our Computing and IT Subject Leader and the Digital Leaders from Year 6. Years 1-2 had a separate assembly with their form teachers. The theme of this year’s Safer Internet Day was ‘Online Identity’, focusing on how children and young people represent themselves online and if their identity can change online. Children talked about how to stay safe online and the importance of keeping our identity and information private. After discussing the different social media platforms and how to use social media safely, children participated in a ‘Have you ever…’ game based on social media terms. Some children pointed out some of the pitfalls of not taking care when using social media: “If you are rude with someone online that can stay there forever and everyone can see it. That could be a huge disadvantage when you are applying for a job, because your potential employer can see it too.”
Find more information that parents need to know about keeping kids safe online here.